Football games are a dime a dozen. We all know the oft-told story of the underdog team that has to put its differences aside to compete for a championship. Some win, some don’t, and the journey often remains more compelling than the end results. However, many football movies are worth your time (no matter how clichéd), especially around Thanksgiving. Here are ten you can check between your delivery or third round of turkey.
Mark Wahlberg stars in this true-life story about Vince Papale, a 30-year-old high school teacher who tries out and eventually joins the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team. With Elizabeth Banks, Invincible is about as predictable as a Thanksgiving meal. However, the performances from everyone involved, including Greg Kinnear as Eagles coach Dick Vermeil, keep the film afloat. Although the decidedly PG material lacks the dirt and grit of most football games.
Remember the Titans
This Jerry Bruckheimer production is fast paced and relentless in history. However, it remains an inspiring iteration of the 1971 TC Williams football squad that mixed white players with black players during a time of intense racism in Virginia. Denzel Washington (in one of his best roles) shines as Herman Boone, whose no-nonsense approach to the game makes it possible for his players and coaching staff to see past their differences and create a bid for the state championship.
The Longest Yard
Forget the terrible Adam Sandler remake. The original 1974 football classic, The Longest Yard, resonates as a hilarious, often powerful slice of old-time entertainment. Burt Reynolds stars as a football pro turned inmate who must lead his fellow inmates against cruel guards. Starring Eddie Albert as the corrupt prison warden, Ed Lauter, and Mike Conrad, The Longest Yard is the The Shawshank Redemption in football movies.
Any Given Sunday
Oliver Stone directs this violent, gritty, realistic look behind the scenes of the NFL, based on the novel by pro defensive end Pat Toomay. Al Pacino stars as longtime head coach Tony D’Amato, whose career hangs by a thread under new management (Cameron Diaz). When young prospect Willie “Steamin” Beamen (Jamie Foxx) emerges as a superstar, D’Amato must navigate the Associated Football Franchises in America’s treacherous waters and guide his underdogs to the playoffs. . The plot is mostly forgettable, but the exciting football scenes and clearly R-rated offscreen drama make up for it. Any Given Sunday one of the most exciting football games ever made.
The classic 1971 ABC Movie of the Week tearjerker tells the story of the friendship between Chicago Bears football star Brian Piccolo (James Caan) and teammate Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams) during a former player’s feud. of cancer. Treacle but effective and boasting strong performances from both leads, Brian’s song is the kind of film that can make grown men cry — it Beaches for dudes. In a good way.
Rudy may not reach the same heights as David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo’s sports classic Hoosiers. However, there was much inspiration in Rudy Ruttiger’s ambitious pursuit of the Norte Dame football team in the 1970s. Sean Astin stars as our titular hero and gives a compelling performance, but Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score makes this football drama worse.
Adam Sandler must be pissed The Longest Yardbut his first entry into the world of football, 1998’s The Waterboy, remains one of the great comedies who reached the peak of his stardom. The Sand Man stars as the slow-witted Bobby Boucher, Jr., a young man living with his overprotective mother (Kathy Bates) whose pent-up aggression earns him a spot as a linebacker. on the school football team. Crazy but fun.
Although not necessarily a film about football, Cameron Crowe’s 1996 Academy Award-winning drama focuses on the relationship between sports agent Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) and rising NFL star Rod Tidwell. (Cuba Gooding, Jr.). There’s plenty of sports talk, bromance for the boys, and just enough romance (courtesy of Renee Zellweger) for the girls. Jerry Maguire is the unique romantic dramedy that earns its place among the best of their respective genres.
Friday Night Lights
Peter Berg’s 2004 football epic offers a candid look at Texas football — the good and the bad — in its by-the-numbers story of football coach Gary Gines (Billy Bob Thornton) and the struggles he faces. faced when his star player was suddenly injured. Friday Night Lights spends more time on the trouble our young stars face off the field but remains a compelling game play, topped off with a terrific turn by Tim McGraw. The TV show inspired by the film is leagues better, but Friday Night Lightsthe motion picture, stands as a solid football game.
Listen to me: Draft Day is Hollywood hokum through and through, featuring a deliberate plot written by people who don’t know a thing about football and ham-fisted performances from Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, and Chadwick Boseman, but holy hell, it was fun. Ivan Reitman turns his lens behind the scenes of the Cleveland Browns football team, where grizzled GM Sonny Weaver, Jr. What ensued was an absurd, improbable series of events that culminated in Costner calling another GM a pancake-eating mother. What’s not to love?